Town to get new gas tank, and system to monitor its use

Town to get new gas tank, and system to monitor its use

CUMBERLAND - More gasoline is going into the underground tank at the Kent Street garage than is pumped back out and into town vehicles, Public Works Director Alan Brodd told members of the Town Council last week.

And that unaccounted for gasoline can total 100 to 200 gallons a month, Brodd later clarified for The Breeze.

Last week, in hopes of balancing intake and outflow - and settling an outstanding notice of violation with the state Department of Environmental Management - Town Council members approved spending $118,800 on a new, above-ground tank.

The vaulted steel 6,000-gallon tank will replace the 10,000-gallon underground tank that was installed in 1995 and is nearing the end of its lifespan, officials say. Brodd said the new tank will look like the one Lincoln has at its garage on Old River Road.

Along with a new tank will come a new card system that more closely regulates which employee is accessing the tank for which vehicle. Nearly two-thirds of those using the town's pump are police officers, with the rest operating the various town trucks and vehicles assigned to some employees.

And while the DEM, which was fining the town $9,250 for failing to submit timely compliance certification forms in 2005-2009, isn't suggesting the tank is leaking, it is allowing Cumberland to apply that fine toward the cost of the new one.

Brodd says the current tracking system is a manual one that requires employees to record every fill-up.

The missing gas is a paperwork problem, Brodd is indicating.

And Finance Director Brian Silvia said that if the tank was "left unaddressed, the town faces severe fines and penalties."

The new tank will sit on a cement slab toward the rear of the garage facility.

It's coming from Gill Services of Warwick whose bid was significantly lower than the LaMountain Brothers of Oxford, Mass., at $139,932, or TMC Environmental of Franklin, Mass., at $154,500.

The town will pay for the tank by tapping the capital improvement account of $160,000 in this year's operating budget.

Removing the old tank, which isn't part of the bid, is another $40,000, Brodd told the council.

A consent order signed by the town in August requires the new tank be installed by Dec. 31, 2013 and a site investigation report within 60 days that could lead to a corrective action plan if contamination is discovered. The town has until July of 2014 to take all needed corrective action.

The DEM's notice of violation was issued in 2011 after the town submitted monthly inventory records in January of 2009 that dated back to 2005.

The DEM found a discrepancy of 1 percent of the total gallons pumped on a monthly basis as well as 130 gallons in four months.

The town had not reported the inventory discrepancies, state officials said.

Tightness tests were ordered that in January 2011 showed the tank and pipeline met the criteria, but three underground tank storage regulations had been violated, prompting the fine.

The DEM did tell The Breeze that the most recent reports, March and April of 2012, showed the "leak check was normal" after some repairs to leak detection sensors.

Yearly testing isn't required until the tank is 20 years old, or, in this case, 2015.

Comments

If it weren't CRIMINAL, it would be funny...It seems that every single tax payer is held to an almost impossible set of rules for COLLECTING money, but it's just the opposite for those TAKING the money. In 4 months, 130 gallons is missing...but there is literally no accountability! Instead, we'll pay someone to come in and test to see if a relatively new tank is leaking. There is a manual system for accounting for this gas and everyone and their brother has access to it...and there are no cameras. It seems legitimate to me! I know! Let's pay for a NEW tank, but leave the same unaccountable system in place!

IF that tank leaks replacing it is a no brainer. Removing the old tank and disposing of the contaminated soil is going to be the tricky part and costly.Card access to the pump is a must.Every department should have a different code to keep track of where the gas is going. Please spend the extra money .Don't have azzzzzz it.